Friday, September 5, 2014

Scandinavian Decorative Painting

One of the styles that I go to for inspiration is Scandinavian painted furniture. Scandinavia includes the countries in Northern Europe: Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. As I researched about the history, I found a great article about the history of Scandinavian decorative painting.  The article indicated that, decorative painting is the work of artists who adorn objects rather than surfaces. It reflects profound beliefs and feelings through the incorporation of lettering and symbols. Many attempts have been made to explain the origin of decorative painting; decorative painting is as old as man often found in cave painting. The great influence has been the early Christian or church art and frescoes that were first found in Roman catacombs. Decorating walls with Bible stories was a way to share the bible with the illiterate masses. In Europe during the Middle Ages painters joined to form guilds and every guild had their own standards and reflected their beliefs. Individual expression was largely limited until the late 1600’s and early 1700’s that is when decorative painting could be enjoyed by the common folk. During this period every folk artist created their own style and taught others to paint. Towards the middle of 1800’s with industrialization and commercialism , people started buying more commercially produced art. In the 1940’s and 1950’s and the new artists began to paint to revive this old art of decorative painting.
Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture
The above image as well as that below are furniture pieces from 1stDibs
In going into further detail about the Scandinavians style, tole painting was one of their specialties. "Tole painting is the folk art of decorative painting on tin and wooden utensils, objects and furniture. Typical metal objects include utensils, coffee pots, and similar household items. Wooden objects include tables, chairs, and chests, including hope chests, toy-boxes and jewelry boxes. The practice began in 18th century New England, and was also extensively carried on among German immigrants in Pennsylvania. A separate, related tradition occurs in the Netherlands and among Scandinavian countries and immigrants, including Norwegians, Danes and Swedes. German tole painting may concentrate more on metal and tin objects, while Scandinavians and Netherlanders may concentrate more on wooden objects and furniture. Patterns in the two traditions vary slightly as well."

I hope you find such inspiration from Decorative Painting inspiration from this art history of Scandinavian design and painting.

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate.™

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